THE BURDEN OF DIVERSITY

Every year it was the same. The then Milwaukee Sentinel printed the pictures of all their summer interns who worked at the paper. The pictures were divided into two categories:

Interns

Minority Interns

Each year, my picture, with the worst lighting imaginable, was displayed under the minority banner. I hated that term: minority intern. It was code for so many things. “Look, we have people of color on our staff!”

But the title also translated into some real life/work challenges as well.

Minority Interns meant you were “guided” into certain beats. Community Affairs, which is also code for the “N***a Beat,” writing about Juneteenth, and all other manner of black experience. Such things are a joy to write about when you want to write about them. But we were all trying to be reporters. We wanted to break news, not cover parades. The breaking news was usually divided amongst the “intern” interns. The ilk of writers who dropped in on the city for the summer to get their mid-size paper cred before jumping to a top-tier internship like the Washington Post or the New York Times. This paper was their stepping stone. For most of us minority interns, though, this was our first and possibly last step.

 

Read the rest of the post here: George Kevin Jordan on The Burden of Diversity

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